US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA260

PRESIDENT DEBY DOUBTS AFRICAN UNION'S CAPACITY ON SUDAN TRIBUNAL

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA260
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA260 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-02-18 17:17:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: KDEM KPKO PHUM PREL KAWC SU CD Darfur Policy and Rebels
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

181717Z Feb 05

ACTION SWCI-00  

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AF-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  CIAE-00  INL-00   
      USNW-00  DODE-00  PERC-00  DS-00    EB-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  
      VC-00    H-00     TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    L-00     CAC-00   
      VCE-00   M-00     NEA-00   DCP-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-00   
      OIG-00   PA-00    GIWI-00  PRS-00   P-00     CFPP-00  FMPC-00  
      SP-00    SSO-00   SS-00    STR-00   TRSE-00  SCRS-00  DSCC-00  
      PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00     /000W
                  ------------------BAE599  181721Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0995
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L  NDJAMENA 000260 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR S/WCI PROSPER; LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA 
WATCHERS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2015 
TAGS: KDEM, KPKO, PHUM, PREL, KAWC, SU, CD, Darfur Policy and Rebels 
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT DEBY DOUBTS AFRICAN UNION'S CAPACITY ON 
SUDAN TRIBUNAL 
 
REF: A. STATE 21439 
 
     B. LIBREVILLE 121 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Marc M. Wall for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary.  The African Union (AU) is not up to the 
task of establishing a tribunal on Darfur, but the decision 
on how to proceed should reflect whatever AU consensus is 
reached, President Deby told the Ambassador February 18.  In 
the meeting held to convey the Secretary's letter to him on 
the subject, Deby also insisted that those responsible for 
atrocities be held accountable.  Earlier on February 16, 
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Prosper pressed the 
U.S. position in discussions with Gabon's President Bongo and 
AU officials on the margins of the meeting of African leaders 
on Darfur.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C)  The Ambassador met Chad's President Idriss Deby 
February 18 to discuss the U.S. proposal for a UN/AU 
"Tribunal for Sudan."  Deby's Special Advisor Alam-mi and P/E 
officer participated in the meeting.  The Ambassador had 
requested the meeting the day before for the purpose of 
delivering the Secretary's letter carried to N'Djamena by 
Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Pierre Prosper. 
Prosper did not have an opportunity to present the letter to 
Deby while in N'Djamena February 16 on the margins of the 
meeting of several AU heads of state on Darfur.  Prosper had 
earlier raised the proposal with Deby during discussions at a 
CEMAC heads of state meeting in Libreville on February 11 
(ref B). 
 
3.  (C)  The Ambassador underlined U.S. concern to ensure 
accountability for crimes committed in Darfur, outlined the 
U.S. proposal for the UN/AU tribunal, and presented Deby the 
Secretary's letter along with the Sudan Tribunal Concept 
 
SIPDIS 
paper (ref A).  After reading the French translation, Deby 
said Chad is committed to bringing to justice those 
responsible for committing crimes in Darfur.  He spoke of 
massive violations against human rights taking place in 
Darfur.  He stressed the urgency of taking action to try the 
offenders while attention of the international community is 
still focused on the issue. 
 
4.  (C)  Deby described two schools of thought within the AU 
on how to move forward, i.e., working through the 
International Criminal Court (ICC) or through African 
institutions.  He said Chad's position sided with the ICC 
option.  He questioned several times the AU's capacity to do 
the job.  He doubted the financial resources or legal 
expertise are available in Africa.  He had reservations about 
the performance of the International Criminal Tribunal for 
Rwanda in Tanzania.  He was concerned that an AU tribunal 
would have to deal with crimes committed in Cote d'Ivoire, 
the Great Lakes, and other African countries, leaving it too 
stretched to handle cases in Sudan.  Deby also stressed that 
Africa's position on where to prosecute the crimes would be 
taken by the AU collectively, not by countries individually. 
 
5.  (C)  The Ambassador responded that the U.S. approach had 
the advantage of making use of the existing mechanism in 
Tanzania.  It would also serve to reinforce the AU's capacity 
to deal with such cases.  He noted U.S. interest in 
supporting a exercise carried out in Arusha and the obstacles 
we would face in doing so through the ICC.  He pointed to 
ICC's lack of competence in prosecuting cases that occurred 
before mid-2002. 
 
6.  (C)  Deby acknowledged these points and promised to 
provide a more precise response.  He welcomed the suggestion 
to continue discussions with Foreign Minister Yamassoum and 
Foreign Policy Advisor Alam-mi.  He reiterated that Africa's 
position would be a collective AU decision.  He believed that 
AU Chairperson Konare's upcoming visit to New York would be 
an opportunity to discuss the matter. 
 
7.  (C)  During his stop in N'Djamena January 16, Ambassador 
Prosper had the opportunity to meet with Gabon's President 
Bongo to discuss the U.S. proposal.  Bongo expressed his 
support as well as a willingness to raise the issue with 
Konare and other African leaders.  Ambassador Prosper also 
outlined U.S. views with Sam Ibok, AU Special Representative 
for Darfur.  Ibok took careful note of the presentation and 
promised to convey the points to Konare in Addis Ababa. 
 
8.  (C)  Comment. Deby's insistence on ensuring 
accountability is a welcome sign that he has at least crossed 
the first hurdle in considering a tribunal on Sudan.  Given 
 
his complicated relations with Khartoum and some of the 
parties implicated in the conflict in Darfur, his support for 
establishing a tribunal in any form was not a foregone 
conclusion.  He does not appear dug in on the option of using 
the ICC.  We expect he would go along with any AU consensus, 
though not necessarily going out of his way to shape it.  End 
Comment. 
 
9.  (U)  Khartoum and Tripoli minimize considered. 
WALL 
 
 
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